Finding the right home is half the battle! The 2nd half is securing the right mortgage.
When the moment comes that you have found your dream home, you have to kick into second gear and get ready for the mortgage process. The mortgage process may seem like a daunting part of buying a home, but with the right attitude and knowing the right information, you’ll be ahead of the curve.
We’ve put together a few basic mortgage tips that are often not mentioned or overlooked during the buying process. Knowing these things ahead of time will increase your chances of securing your loan.
- Improve your credit score. Order a copy of your credit report so you know what you’re dealing with, especially if you’ve never checked it before. Getting any mistakes corrected should be your first order of business.
- Don’t open any new cards. Applying for credit shortly before or during the application process pulls down your credit score. It could be only a few points, but that could affect your rate and even whether you’ll be approved for a loan at all.
- Give yourself more time than you think you need. Improving your credit score and socking away a down payment takes time so give yourself at least a six-month head start.
- Plan for Closing Costs Prepare for closing costs associated with a mortgage that aren’t part of the down payment. There will be costs associated with generating and processing the loan. Closing costs generally range from 3% to 4% of the purchase price.
- Get Pre-Approved. This puts you in a stronger position to make an offer. A pre-approval letter shows the lender evaluated your financial picture and determined an acceptable loan amount.
- Prepare before you start. Have the required basic documents ready: your last two pay stubs, W-2s, income-tax returns and bank statements. Save these documents and any others the lender requests in an electronic format, so you can easily resend them if anything gets lost.
- Shop Around. Rates are important, but you must consider points, closing costs and different types of loans. Get estimates from three banks and three mortgage brokers and decide which combination works for you.
- Keep Your Credit Put Until Closing. Most lenders will pull your credit again before the loan closes. It’s wise to avoid any moves that may affect your credit. Don’t apply for new credit cards or credit lines. Pay your bills on time. Don’t close any accounts. Don’t finance a new car. Stay put until closing.
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